Hallo-warm as half term ends with a heatwave

Unseasonally warm October weather at Bolton Abbey, Brighton and Leeds

Unseasonally warm October weather at Bolton Abbey, Brighton and Leeds

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It is more akin with the descent into darkness than mercury rising.

Knocking on the door of winter, Halloween traditionally heralds the start of the cold months ahead.

Unseasonally warm October weather at Bolton Abbey, Brighton and Leeds

Unseasonally warm October weather at Bolton Abbey, Brighton and Leeds

But by some spooky force this year’s All Hallows’ Eve turned out to be the warmest on record with temperatures hitting over 23 °C.

Temperatures in Gravesend, Charlwood and Bristol today saw Britain experience its warmest Halloween on record.

The record of 20C (68F) set at Dartford in Kent in 1968 was beaten before noon when the temperature reached 20.5C (68.9F) in Filton, Bristol, the Met Office said.

It posted a tweet saying: “It’s officially the warmest Halloween on record with Filton recording 20.5C.”

Unseasonally warm October weather at Bolton Abbey, Brighton and Leeds

Unseasonally warm October weather at Bolton Abbey, Brighton and Leeds

Forecasters were predicting an unseasonably warm 21 °C (70F) in the South East, eight degrees higher than is normal for this time of year.

But the Halloween record was smashed again later when Gravesend in Kent recorded 23.5 °C (74.3F).

The mercury hit 19 °C in Leeming, Dishforth Airfield near Ripon and Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire and in Leconfield in the east of the region.

Met Office spokesman Dan Williams said: “We have seen some exceptionally warm temperatures for the time of year. The reason for that is that we have got air coming up from the south - places like Spain, Portugal - and it is very warm air. Just being transported up here on the way the air flow is set up brings us these warm conditions. The whole of the UK is in the same boat today.”

Supermarket Tesco said the weather had prompted record October barbecue and party food sales.

Its Halloween manager Serena Fleming said: “Not only is Halloween on a Friday but with the unseasonably warm and dry weather we believe many people will hold parties with festivities spilling out into gardens and barbecue cook-outs around bonfires.”

In Brighton sun seekers basked on deck chairs making the most of what could be the last of this year’s unusual weather.

The warm spell was not expected to last as trick and treaters now turn their attention towards Bonfire Night.

Forecasters were predicting a fall in temperature today by three or four degrees.

“It’s unlikely we will see temperatures over 20 °C across the UK this year,” said Mr Williams.

So far, 2014 is the warmest year on record, following consistently mild temperatures which have continued into autumn, weather forecaster MeteoGroup said.

But October will not break any records, despite being both warmer and wetter than average.

Nine out of the 10 months this year have seen above-average mean temperatures, with only August below average, the Met Office said.

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